I hope this is the right area for this question.
My 3rd GGrandfather, Amariah Wilson came across the Oregon Trail in 1844 and drifted down to San Francisco by 1846-7.
I have proof (H.H. Bancroft, History of California, Vol. 29), that Amariah became a landowner in SFO in 1847-8, Along with his son Dorsey. and He lost a son while living there, and had a dau. Charlotte on 5 Mar 1850. Somewhere in this timeframe he & his son sold the lots they had acquired to Joseph B. Crockett, according to records of that time for about $6000. He then proceeded to return to Wayne Co., Ohio, his original home, where on 5 May 1851 his dau. Charlotte died & is buried there.
Now the Question:
How would Amariah returned to Ohio? He had a family of 2 or 3 sons, 3 daus, and a wife, and carrying $6000 in cash.
1. Cross Continent trains did not exist yet.
2. The Butterfield Stage across the Southwest did not start until about 1857
3. He could have boarded a ship to Panama, crossed the ithimus, and then taken a ship to New Oreleans and up the Mississippi. But no records have been found of such a trip.
4. He could have gone back to Salt lake City via San Bernadino and thence back across the Oregon Trail.
Any other ideas, suggestions on what might have been his route, or where to look for records.